Data points

Published May 3, 2021
The Apple logo is seen outside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium before the start of an event in San Francisco, California. The EU formally accused Apple last week of unfairly squeezing out music streaming rivals through its App Store in one of the biggest-ever competition cases to hit the iPhone maker.—AFP
The Apple logo is seen outside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium before the start of an event in San Francisco, California. The EU formally accused Apple last week of unfairly squeezing out music streaming rivals through its App Store in one of the biggest-ever competition cases to hit the iPhone maker.—AFP

Crypto is bad for relationships

The many downsides of cryptocurrencies are well known: there’s volatility, the potential for thefts or hacks, and the chance of regulatory changes. Turns out, it may not help your social life, either. About 60pc of crypto investors say their belief or investments in the space have had a negative impact on their personal relationships, according to a SurveyMonkey survey performed on behalf of .Tech Domains that looked at numerous issues around digital assets. What’s more, there’s a direct correlation between the percentage of someone’s net worth that’s invested in cryptocurrencies and the likelihood they say their personal relationships have been impacted negatively. The stress on relationships could come from a number of fronts,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda Asia-Pacific Pte. “One person in a relationship investing in cryptos when their partner is a vehement non-believer would create natural stresses — especially when cryptos have such large intraday swings in value and thus, the value of the portfolio.”

(Adapted from “Crypto Holders Say It’s Hurt Their Personal Relationships,” by Joanna Ossinger, published on April 24, 2021, by Bloomberg Businessweek)

And the winner is… Netflix

The purported plot of the streaming wars goes as follows: sick of losing customers and relative market value to Netflix, big media transitioned their ageing television-focused businesses to focus on subscription streaming services instead. There’s no exact starting date for these “wars,” but on Nov 12, 2019, Disney launched Disney+, kicking off traditional media’s assault on Netflix. Since then, AT&T’s HBO Max, Comcast NBCUniversal’s Peacock, ViacomCBS’ Paramount+, Discovery’s Discovery+ and AMC Networks’ AMC+ have all sprung to life as Netflix competitors. So who’s been the big winner from all of this new competition? Netflix. Since the day Disney+ launched, Netflix shares have risen more than 87pc. That dwarfs gains by every other media company during the same time period. While the streaming wars have added many competitive services to Netflix, the end result of the media’s shift to streaming may cement Netflix as the centre of household entertainment.

(Adapted from “Netflix is the biggest winner since Disney kicked off the streaming wars, by Alex Sherman, published on April 19, 2021, by CNBC)

“Zoom fatigue” is worst for women than men

Is “Zoom fatigue” worse for women than men? A Zoom exhaustion and fatigue (ZEF) scale suggests so. Having endured endless virtual meetings over the past year, many workers are complaining about videoconferencing exhaustion. Eyes are sore, backs ache and limbs are stiff as hours of staring at screens add to the “cognitive load” for already stressed-out employees. New research indicates that “Zoom fatigue” as a condition is more prevalent among women than men. Using ZEF, researchers found that around 14pc of the women in their sample reported feeling very to extremely fatigued, compared with less than 6pc of men. The condition will remain a feature of work-life, even after employees return to the office.

(Adapted from “A new study suggests that ‘Zoom fatigue’ is worse for women than men,” published on April 22, 2021, by The Economist)

Pakistan’s Covid denial

According to Gallup Pakistan’s Wave 10 of its Coronavirus Attitude Tracker Survey, 64pc of Pakistanis still hold the opinion that the threat of coronavirus is exaggerated. While willingness to get vaccinated has improved significantly as compared to 38pc in December, as of March 2021, 65pc Pakistanis now say that they are willing to get vaccinated. It is crucial to note however that as of March 2021, a vast majority — 87pc — of Pakistanis report that no one in their family has received the Covid-19 vaccination as yet. Furthermore, 44pc Pakistanis say that they are not sure when they will be able to get the vaccine, indicating that access to vaccines remains a major problem. Among those who refuse to get the vaccine, common reasons for this hesitancy are worrying about side effects, belief that they will not contract the virus and a belief that immunity is better than getting the vaccine. The economic impact of Covid-19 seems to have worsened as compared to December 2020. Gallup Pakistan’s economic wellbeing indicator that had improved on six out of seven indicators in December has now witnessed a decline in four out of its seven indicators.

(Adapted from “Coronavirus Attitude Tracker Survey Pakistan Wave 10 Results,” published on April 29, 2021, by Gallup Pakistan)

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, May 3rd, 2021

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